Short life of landfill presses committee into tough decisions

Published 9:15 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2022

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
Carter County officials want to determine if land adjacent to the existing landfill would be suitable for expansion, and answering that question could require legal intervention.
County Attorney Josh Hardin and Landfill Director Benny Lyons were tasked by the landfill committee with formulating a plan to determine how much of the adjacent three tracts of land would be needed to extend the life of the landfill, which could be full within five years.
“We are talking about three tracts of land approximately 30 to 40 acres each,” said Hardin. “I have reached back out to the owners of those properties and only the one who was interested before said they would consider selling.
“We can take the property for public use (eminent domain) through court proceedings and pay fair market value for the property whatever the court deems. This would mean filing lawsuits to do so.”
However, members of the landfill committee want some reassurances that the land will be viable before moving forward.
“We would need to get a court order where we could do drilling to test and be responsible for any damages done to the property,” Hardin said.
“Benny needs to look at the three parcels of land and determine how much land will be needed before taking any actions,” said Chairman Gary Bailey. “All three parcels would need to be tested.
“He told me we had five years at the most left at the landfill. I don’t want to imminent domain anyone’s property, but on the other hand, something has got to be done.”
Blevins withdrew his motion and the committee made the decision to allow Lyons and Hardin to continue to gather more information.

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